The Dow Jones Industrial retreated Wednesday, sliding back below 30000 after mixed economic data and the continued rise in Covid-19 cases.
Wednesday’s decline marked a pause in a rally fueled by hopes for Covid-19 vaccines and easing concerns around the U.S. presidential transition. President-elect Joe Biden’s pick of former Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary has also increased hopes of sizable stimulus measures.
Countering that optimism are concerns that the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten households and raises the prospect of further restrictions. As of Tuesday, there were 88,080 hospitalized patients in the U.S., a record high for a 15th consecutive day, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
The blue-chip index fell 173.77 points, or 0.6%, to 29872.47 points, a day after breaching the 30000 milestone for the first time. The S&P 500 lost 5.76 points, or 0.2%, to 3629.65. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 57.62 points, or 0.5%, to 12094.40, notching its 44th record close of 2020 and its first since early September.
“The market is trying to balance itself between the short-term outlook of a winter wave of Covid cases and the more positive medium-term outlook, thanks to the vaccine and the recovery that will follow,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.